Saturday, September 17, 2011

classroom management

For my little speed demon workers, I have them choose from 3 things-- free draw, read a book, and do a job.  Free draw is using re-used paper and crayons, reading a book is sitting quietly in our groovy little book corner, and doing a job is usually sharpening pencils.  I have tiny pencil sharpeners that are...silent...:).

Anything more interesting does in fact make them rush through their projects to get to the fun stuff, so I choose my free time activities carefully.

the groovy book corner

every class gets a chance to earn points toward an Art Party

this pretty much covers everything


  1. Great ideas. I don't do free draw this year because we went through so much paper last year. Plus they had other free draw "days" this year.
    Thanks for passing these ideas on to us.

  2. thanks for writing-- i collect paper from the copy room that is used on one side for free drawing- -do the kids complain? YES, but since 90% of free draw ends up in the recycle bin anyway...:)

  3. I know this post is a bit older, but I am also at a PYP school- in South Carolina. I loved the Checklist you use for the classroom management, but what sort of rewards or incentives are offered to the kids getting all their checks or none of the checks?

    1. Hi Kirstin,

      The check marks are expectations-- so there aren't tangible rewards for following them. Logical consequence for not coming in quickly and quietly for example would be getting the whole class up and coming in again the correct way. I am willing to do it again and again until it's correct (and then of course they are wasting their art time so they don't like it.)

      A logical consequence for not cleaning up is me keeping them during recess to clean up. I wouldn't do this with a whole class, just the ones who didn't do what they were supposed to do.

      I read a book called "Drive" by Daniel Pink-- if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It's basically the science of what motivates people, and it's very applicable to the classroom. Pink talks a lot of about in inefficacy of rewards for certain behaviors. After reading it, I did away with my whole point system thing and honestly, the kids didn't even notice.

    2. So they don't get to earn an art party? I was just curious what that would look like and how many points they had to earn. I think you are right about those systems. The music teacher at my school tracks it, gives certain kids chances to be the music star, etc. but she has the same complaints about the same classes and same children.
      I like your posters a lot! But, I am having trouble with one grade. I was considering rolling out a system for them only, hoping to improve my class. Tme with them. But,you. Are now I am confused and want to take advantage of this break to get my kids interested in working harder on art and less on their time to socialize.